L07 East Fife W

HOME is where the heart is and Stevie Farrell is calling on his team to ensure they continue their fine form at Stair Park tomorrow (Saturday).

The Blues have not lost a league game in Wigtownshire since April and will be aiming for a further three points when East Fife visit.

The manager said: “We are unbeaten at home in the league this season and we want to try to keep that going.

“The home league form is crucial in this league and any league.

“We know that and we have spoken to the players and stressed it onto the players.

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“We want to make Stair Park a difficult place.

“After a long journey, we want to make it difficult.

“We have been starting games very well and we know we need to do that and be on the game from the first whistle.”

The Fifers come into the tie on their best run since February, with three wins on the spin.

A fourth win would be their best run at this level since the end of 2016.

Former Stranraer favourite Scott Agnew has been key in the side’s good start and Farrell knows all too well the midfielder’s strengths.

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He said: “It is something that we will speak to the players about.

“We know Scott’s quality.

“His left foot is a very, very lethal weapon, which worked for us on many occasions.

“He is somebody I would have liked to have kept but he moved on to pastures new and we will need to be aware about giving away silly free-kicks.”

While Agnew is returning to face his former club, Mark Lamont will not be featuring against his previous employers.

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The midfielder has been struggling with an ankle injury and looks like spending a couple of weeks on the sidelines in a bid to solve the problem.

He will be joined by Andy McDonald, who completes his two-game ban.

The absences leave the Blues with a first team squad of 17 again, which should mean a recall for Max Ashmore, who missed out against Stenhousemuir last weekend.

The manager stressed it was a squad game and every player was a key component.

He added: “Max comes back into contention because of injury to Mark.

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“It gives him that opportunity.

“I always say you look at any squad and pick a team in September and it will not be the same in May.

“Football evolves, it continually evolves, when you talk about suspensions, injuries, loss of form.

“Playing or not playing, you need to be at it and keep being patient for a chance and opportunity.

“It will come and when it comes you have got to take it.”

Last meeting
East Fife 2-3 Stranraer
Saturday 28 April 2018

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STRANRAER wrapped up the season with three points – despite a second half comeback from East Fife.

The Blues travelled to Bayview Stadium on the last day of last season and opened the scoring nine minutes before the break. Scott Agnew, now with the Fifers, was the first man on the scoresheet when he curled home a delightful free-kick.

Stranraer extended their lead when Stephen Okoh powered down the left and put in a perfect cross for Grant Anderson to head home. Five minutes later and it was 3-0 with Anderson again heading home, this time from Cameron MacPherson’s corner.

However, if it looked like game over, then the travelling fans were in for a surprise. Craig Watson thumped home a 30 yard dipping volley. The deficit was narrowed to one when Jonathan Page headed home from close range and Kevin Smith rattled the crossbar but Stranraer held on.

East Fife: Goodfellow, Dunsmore, Page, Watson, Livingstone (Linton 74), Slattery, Millar, Allardice, Thomson, Duggan, Knox (Smith 64).
Not used: Kane, Wilkie, Jones and MacKenzie.

Stranraer: Currie, Robertson, Neill, McGowan, Hamill, MacPherson, Hawkshaw (Dykes 85), Agnew, Anderson, Turner (Elliott 70), Okoh (Scott 75).
Not used: Barron, Gray, Baxter and McLaren.
 
Last five meetings

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East Fife 2 Stranraer 3 (Watson and Page; Agnew and Anderson x2) at Bayview Stadium on April 28, 2018
Stranraer 0 East Fife 2 (Linton (P) and Lamont) at Stair Park on February 3, 2018
East Fife 1 Stranraer 1 (Duggan;Wallace) at Bayview Stadium on December 9, 2017
Stranraer 1 East Fife 0 (Hamill) at Stair Park on August 5, 2017
Stranraer 2 East Fife 1 (Malcolm and Kassarate; Kerr) at Stair Park on May 6, 2017

Last five games

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Stranraer

WIN v Stenhousemuir (H): 2-0 (Turner and Cameron)
LOSS v Airdrieonians (A): 2-0
WIN v Montrose (H): 2-0 (Brownlie and Anderson)
DRAW v Forfar Athletic (A): 0-0
LOSS v Partick Thistle (H): 0-5

East Fife

WIN v Airdrieonians (H): 2-1 (Watt and Currie)
WIN v Partick Thistle (H): 2-1 (Agnew and Currie)
WIN v Montrose (A): 0-2 (Davidson and Court)
LOSS v Arbroath (H): 0-3
DRAW v Raith Rovers (A): 2-2 (Agnew x2 (Pen x1))

Last time out

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Stranraer lineup v Stenhousemuir: Currie, McGowan, Brownlie, D Smith, Hamill, Cummins, McManus, Turner, Anderson (Diver 85), Layne (Cameron 60), Donnelly (Higgins 74).
Not used: Lamont, I Smith, Elliott and Avci.

East Fife lineup v Airdrieonians: Long, Kane (Dunlop 78), Watson, Slattery, Meggatt, Dunsmore (Smith 64), Agnew, Watt, Davidson, Court (Currie 64), Dowds.
Not used: Docherty, Thomson, Bell and McDowall.

Referee

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DAVID DICKINSON steps out onto the field at Stair Park on Saturday less than two months after his last Stranraer game.

The referee took charge of the Blues' 4-2 defeat away to Edinburgh City on 28 July.

Adam Cummins' header and Grant Anderson's finish saw Stranraer twice restore parity after going behind, but second half goals from Craig Thomson and Blair Henderson sealed the win for the hosts.

History will be made however, as Dickinson has never officiated an East Fife game in his three years as a referee.
 
Photos: Stranraer FC, Bill McCandlish

Our next home game sees Stevie Aitken bring his Dumbarton side to Stair Park.

The league clash takes place on Saturday 6 October with a 3pm kickoff:

L09 Dumbarton W

SPFL 3L1 6474

POS
TEAM PLD
PTS
1 Arbroath 10 24
2 Raith Rovers 10 20
3 East Fife 10 19
4 Airdrieonians 10 13
5 Brechin City 10 13
6 Stranraer 10 12
7 Forfar Athletic 10 12
8 Stenhousemuir 10
9
9 Dumbarton 10 8
10 Montrose 10 8


Fixtures

2018/19 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
2 - Daniel Higgins (DEF)

3 - Chris McGowan (DEF)
4 - Andy McDonald (DEF)
5 - David Brownlie (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (MID)
7 - Mark Lamont (MID)
8 - Kyle Turner (MID)
9 - Isaac Layne (STR)

10 - Luke Donnelly (STR)
11 - Grant Anderson (M/S)
12 - Ian Smith (MID)

13 - Lyle Avci (GK)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID)
16 - Max Ashmore (MID)
17 - David Smith (D/M)
18 - Innes Cameron (STR)
19 - Ciaran Diver (STR)
20 - PJ Crossan (STR)

22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Adam Cummins (DEF)